King World Makes Rachael Ray Deal Official

Oct 5, 2005  •  Post A Comment

As previously reported in TelevisionWeek, author and cable network cooking personality Rachael Ray has made a deal with King World Productions for a syndicated talk strip.

The new series, which will be shot in New York, will be distributed and produced by King World Productions in association with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions. Ms. Ray will continue to appear on Food Network, where she hosts a number of cooking and travel shows. The weekday one-hour talk strip will be available to stations for fall 2006.

The project is the first for Harpo since it launched “Dr. Phil” four years ago. It is also the first talk strip for Terry Wood, president of creative affairs and development for King World Productions and Paramount Domestic Television, since she was given an expanded role with the Viacom-owned distribution companies in January. Ms. Ray’s show could run in a number of different time periods, Ms. Wood said.

“There are a lot of holes right now,” she said. It’s hard to pigeonhole. It’s the kind of show that will have a home in a lot of places.”

Calling the strip a “can-do show,” Ms. Ray’s show will not use celebrity interviews as a focus, Ms. Wood said.

“This show is really about Rachael’s willingness to learn,” she said. “If the celebrity fits into that, then the celebrity is going to fit in.”

Ms. Ray will also be making regular appearances on King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” throughout the current season, Ms. Wood said.

Ms. Ray got her start in television doing a weekly segment, “30 Minute Meals,” for the evening news on WRGB-TV in Albany, N.Y. Food Network picked up “30-Minute Meals” in November 2001 after seeing her on NBC’s “Today” show. She is the author of 10 cookbooks, and her new monthly magazine, Every Day With Rachael Ray, debuts in November.